MANILA, Philippines – Following the recent spike of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila the past week, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of classes in Metro Manila from March 10 to 14.

As of this writing, there have been at least49 casesof the coronavirus in the Philippines – with those who have not yet recovered confined in hospitals in and around the National Capital Region (NCR).

The Department of Education (DepEd) ordered NCR schools on Tuesday evening after the President’s announcement to implement “social distancing measures” amid the COVID-19 threat. By then, it had already suspended national activities requiring travel and congregation, such as Palaro Regional Meets.

With the uncertainty surrounding the incubation of the disease, schools are resorting to creative measures to keep classes running outside the classroom. Here are some of their practices:

Using online platforms

Here is a list of some online platforms some teachers have reported using or are encouraged to use to conduct their classes:

Ramon Avanceña High School (RAHS) principal Danilo Estavillo encouraged teachers in their Quiapo-based school to make use of Google Classroom to interact with students. In this platform, teachers can post announcements and assignments that students can accomplish online.

In Pasig Elementary and Sta Ana Elementary, some teachers post slideshows of their lessons in Facebook groups and allow students to ask their questions and share insights through comments. Some also give assignments via Facebook Messenger.

Ateneo de Manila University lists Moodle, a free and open-sourced learning platform, as among online venues for learning.

Multimedia lectures. At the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, some professors have opted for the following options on Facebook:

  • Livestreamed lectures
  • Audio lectures
  • Video lectures of a PowerPoint, along with an audio track of a discussion

Students can also comment on the multimedia lectures for questions. Professors provide links to supplementary learning materials, like YouTube videos.